Monday, April 6, 2009

The Look......

More often than not, I am finding that people have a hard time understanding the concept of “amicable divorce.” When people ask me “well, how are you doing with it all?” and I respond with “I’m doing great”, I actually get what I’m calling “The Look.” I haven’t been able to figure out if it’s confusion, surprise, or true misunderstanding as if they didn’t hear me right. I’ve even created this standard answer, almost as if I’m reading from a script, because the occurrence of The Look is so often.

“Everything is good. We really are great friends. Everything we’ve decided has been amicable and friendly. We even went to California together and had a great time ….. as friends.”

The last comment really gets them. “You went on a trip together?” Oops. I think I may have created a state of confusion from which they might not be able to recover.

That scenario replays itself time and time again. And each time I am more and more bewildered that people just can’t seem to grasp what I am trying to achieve. I mean seriously? Does it HAVE to be bad?

Of course SOMETHING started the whole progression of drifting apart, separating and starting the divorce process. We weren’t always this incompatible as a married couple. We started drifting apart as soon as we found out I was pregnant. I shouldn’t have been surprised too much. He would have been totally fine (if not great) if I didn’t want children. But he went into the marriage knowing that I did. And I went into the marriage knowing that he did not share my enthusiasm.

I think that reminding myself of his initial wants is what really helped me to accept how we grew apart. We have a propensity to go into relationships thinking that we can change the other person to want what we want or to feel what we feel or to act like we act. But that doesn’t happen and it shouldn’t happen. We found them for a reason. We married them for a reason. If we feel like they need to be changed from who they are, then we shouldn’t marry them to begin with. Have I lost you yet?

Accepting who he was and who he is really helped us both. Certainly, there were tough times. I didn’t just wake up one day and say “Ok, you are who you are and I am who I am. We don’t fit anymore. Let’s get divorced.” It definitely did not happen that way. It was a much longer process and tears were shed. But acceptance is ultimately what helped me to turn that much needed corner.

Once acceptance came, my reactions to the whole situation took an about-face. I knew that I could move forward happy or I could move forward angry. It was my choice to make and I chose happiness.

Happy living everyone!